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Project Update

Building of the underpass has been completed and the tunnel is now open. Work on the National War Memorial Park is underway.

Overview of the second field trip

  • Strength and resilience was a key part of this field trip. A lot of steel and concrete was being used to build the tunnel.
  • You met Russell Scoones to see what had to be done on site before the concrete was poured.
  • Cole Meiring described how the tunnel is being built strong enough to withstand a 1 in 2,500 year earthquake.
  • You met Htut Win and heard how the team is moving the Home of Compassion Crèche in one piece to become part of the National War Memorial Park.
  • Historian Mathew Tonks talked about why the historic crèche is being kept as part of the Memorial Park.
  • You saw how stormwater and groundwater is being managed.
  • Katherine Heays shared her thoughts on what it is like working in the construction industry.
  • You met Construction Manager Steve Croft who showed how all the teams within the Memorial Park Alliance are organised.
  • You visited Mount Cook School and found out how the students have been part of this construction project.

What’s happening now?

The tunnel opened to traffic a month early. The first cars drove into the tunnel late on Sunday, 28 September 2014. The day before about 10,000 people walked through the tunnel during an open day.

It is called the Arras Tunnel. The name comes from a French town where the New Zealand Tunnelling Company served from November 1916 during the First World War. The tunnel is lined with poppies to sybolise New Zealanders who lost their lives during this war.

Building of the memorials, open spaces and walkways, which will be the Memorial Park, has started. The park will be open in time for Anzac Day 2015.

More information on Arras

You can read more about the New Zealand tunnelling operations near Arras, France during the First World War:

See also: Memorial Park Alliance update, 5 September 2014 for more information about the Arras Tunnel and latest happenings around the project site.

Asphalting the tunnel from the Taranaki Street portal. Image: NZTA.


A worker asphalting the road inside the tunnel. Image: NZTA.


The tunnel ready for white line marking. Image: NZTA.


A crowd at the Arras Tunnel opening ceremony. Image: NZTA.


Descendants of the WW1 New Zealand Tunnelling Company lead the crowd through Arras Tunnel. Image: NZTA.


Arras Tunnel with the Carillon in the background. Image: NZTA.


Poppies in the Arras Tunnel. Image: NZTA.


The Arras Tunnel opens to traffic. Image: NZTA.

Download this document for all the latest facts and figures! Word (132k) | PDF (50k).